God is My Salvation

Isaiah 12:1-3 ESV

“You will say in that day:
‘I will give thanks to you, O Lord,
for though you were angry with me,
your anger turned away,
that you might comfort me.

“’Behold, God is my salvation;
I will trust, and will not be afraid;
for the Lord God is my strength and my song,
and he has become my salvation.’

“With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.”

When we come into this world, we are born with sin natures in the image of Adam (the first man who sinned against God). We have all sinned and we have all come up short of attaining God’s divine approval and receiving his righteousness. And there is nothing we can do in our own human effort to be made righteous with God and to be approved by him. Only by God’s grace, through God-given faith in Jesus Christ can any of us be saved of our sins.

But even the faith to believe in Jesus Christ is God’s gift to us. We can’t even come to faith in Jesus Christ unless God the Father first draws us to Christ, i.e. unless he first persuades us as to his holiness and righteousness and of our sinfulness, and of our need to turn away from our lives of living in sin and for self to now follow him in obedience to his ways. Our faith is not of our own doing, so we can’t decide for ourselves what faith should look like.

For Jesus Christ is the founder (author) and perfecter of our faith, so he is the one to decide what that faith should look like. And that faith does not exclude works. It is just that they are the works that God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them, as His workmanship, in his divine power, wisdom, and strength. And in reading the Scriptures we learn that faith is obedience to our Lord Jesus in doing what he commands.

So, if faith means we are persuaded of God, and if faith originates with Jesus, and it is perfected by Jesus, and if this is God’s gift to us and it is not of ourselves, of our own doing, then the person of faith is going to submit to God’s will and purposes for our lives. He is going to die with Christ to sin and live to God and to his righteousness. He is going to walk with the Lord in obedience to his commands (New Covenant). And he is going to surrender to Jesus as Lord, or his faith is not God-given and divinely persuaded faith.

Faith in Jesus Christ is also not a one-time thing which takes place in our lives and then we are “good to go” regardless of how we live from that moment forward. We must be believing (present active) in Jesus for us to have eternal life with God. And the same applies to our salvation. We are saved (past), we are being saved (present), and we will be saved (future) when Christ returns and he takes his bride to be with him, provided that we continue in obedience to our Lord until the very end of time.

So, we give thanks to the Lord for our salvation from sin because we can’t be saved in our own human effort. But our salvation is not just deliverance from hell, forgiveness of sins, and the promise of heaven when we die. Our salvation is dying with Christ to sin and living to Christ and to his righteousness in the power of God. It is being delivered from our slavery to sin so that we can now be slaves of God and of his righteousness.

[Rom 3:21-26; Rom 5:12-19; 1 Co 15:21-22,42-49; Eph 2:8-10; Jn 6:44; Heb 12:1-2; 2 Pet 1:1; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Co 10:1-22; Heb 3:1-19; Heb 4:1-13; Rom 8:24; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; John 3:16; Jn 8:31-32; Jn 15:1-12; Rom 11:17-24; 1 Co 15:2; Col 1:21-23; 2 Tim 2:10-13; Heb 3:6, 14-15; 2 Pet 1:5-11; 1 Jn 2:24-25; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; Lu 9:23-26; 1 Pet 2:24; Titus 2:11-14]

Isaiah 12:4-6 ESV

“And you will say in that day:

“‘Give thanks to the Lord,
call upon his name,
make known his deeds among the peoples,
proclaim that his name is exalted.

“’Sing praises to the Lord, for he has done gloriously;
let this be made known in all the earth.
Shout, and sing for joy, O inhabitant of Zion,
for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.’”

When something exciting happens to us, don’t we want to tell others about it? I mean, that is what social media is all about, right? We get on Twitter or on Facebook or on other social media sites in order to share with our friends, family, and other acquaintances about what is going on in our lives. And we often will also share pictures of those events taking place in our lives so that others can see for themselves what we are talking about.

But how many people calling themselves Christians are sharing Christ on social media and on other internet sites and with their friends and family members on a regular and consistent and daily basis? Not many as far as I can tell, although I did see this happening on a daily basis on Twitter, but by what percentage to the number of Christians on there I do not know. But I don’t see this happening much in person, either.

I wonder if that is largely because so many people see their salvation as a one-time event in their lives rather than something that is ongoing on a daily basis. They make a profession of faith in Jesus Christ which they believe saves them from their sins and which promises them heaven when they die, but then they just live their normal every day lives like everyone else does and Jesus isn’t a present and ongoing reality in their lives.

Certainly that does not describe everyone professing the name of Jesus, but it does appear to describe the majority of those professing to be Christians here in America. Jesus is not a present reality in the lives of so many people who call themselves Christians. They believe they have their ticket into heaven, and they may or may not live more morally than those not professing faith in Jesus Christ, but there are so many worldly Christians.

Therefore, we need to make certain of our salvation, that we have turned from our sins to follow Jesus in obedience, and that daily we are dying with Christ to sin and living to him and to his righteousness, in his power. We must be walking with him daily in obedience to his commands and we must not be those who are deliberately and habitually sinning against him. He must be a present reality in our lives in all that we do.

And then we must be those who are making his deeds known among the peoples, who are proclaiming that his name is to be exalted. Daily we should be giving thanks to our Lord for all the marvelous things he has done and is presently doing in our lives and that he will yet do in the future. We should be proclaiming his salvation in all the earth, and we should be singing and shouting his praises. For he alone is the God of our salvation. Amen!

[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:21-25; Rom 12:1-2; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-10; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-11; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Matt 7:21-23; Ac 26:18; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15; Eph 2:8-10]

Master, The Tempest is Raging!

Lyrics by Mary A. Baker, 1874
Music by Horatio R. Palmer, 1874

Master, the tempest is raging!
The billows are tossing high!
The sky is o’ershadowed with blackness,
No shelter or help is nigh;
Carest Thou not that we perish?
How canst Thou lie asleep,
When each moment so madly is threat’ning
A grave in the angry deep?

Master, with anguish of spirit
I bow in my grief today;
The depths of my sad heart are troubled—
Oh, waken and save, I pray!
Torrents of sin and of anguish
Sweep o’er my sinking soul;
And I perish! I perish! dear Master—
Oh, hasten, and take control.

Master, the terror is over,
The elements sweetly rest;
Earth’s sun in the calm lake is mirrored,
And heaven’s within my breast;
Linger, O blessed Redeemer!
Leave me alone no more;
And with joy I shall make the blest harbor,
And rest on the blissful shore.

The winds and the waves shall obey Thy will,
Peace, be still!
Whether the wrath of the storm-tossed sea,
Or demons or men, or whatever it be,
No waters can swallow the ship where lies
The Master of ocean, and earth, and skies;
They all shall sweetly obey Thy will,
Peace, be still! Peace, be still!
They all shall sweetly obey Thy will,
Peace, peace, be still!

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